School report card: Fourth in a series

What’s in a report card? Grasping PS 7’s grade


This year, PS 7 in Kingsbridge dropped from an A to a C on its progress report, which purports to measure how schools are doing by comparing them to other, similar schools.

To arrive at the final score, the Department of Education graded schools in three categories — school environment, based on surveys taken by parents and teachers; student performance, based on the results of the 2010 math and English standardized state tests; and student progress, which measured the change in state test scores from 2009 to 2010.

Although the school’s environment grade increased from a C last year to a B this year, that was not enough to balance the C in student progress and D in student performance. The scores reflect the administration of Principal Renee Cloutier, who retired at the end of last year and was replaced by Frank Patterson.

Although the low score makes the school look like it is slipping, it requires some unpacking. Analysis shows that poor performance on state test scores is largely to blame while high marks in environment from parents may have bolstered achievement.

State test troubles

PS 7 got hit the hardest in student performance, which “measures student skill levels in English Language Arts and Math,” according to the DOE.

New testing standards are partially to blame. This year, the state raised the score students needed to achieve proficiency on the math and English standardized tests, causing year-to-year proficiency levels to drop across the city. But at PS 7, results were even grimmer than District 10 averages.

The number of students at PS 7 who achieved proficiency on math in 2010 — 44.4 percent — was slightly lower than the 45.1 percent district average. In ELA, the story was the same. Nearly 33 percent of students achieved proficiency district-wide, compared to 31.6 percent at PS 7.

Good environment

A bright spot on the school’s report came in environment, where improvement was seen across the board. However, a breakdown of the surveys shows that the school still has a way to go with regard to teacher satisfaction.

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